Campus News

UK Great Teachers Discuss History in Time of Pandemics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2020)  History is in the news a lot these days. News commentators and politicians tell us we are living through 1918, 1929 and 1968, all compressed into a single year. We look back to World War II, in search of a tangible precedent for overcoming adversity. And some writers claim that the calls for a truly multiracial democracy resonate better with 1868 than 1968. So how can history help us understand our contemporary moment?

Join host Kathi Kern, associate provost of teaching, learning and academic innovation, and a 2003 Great Teacher Award winner, at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 16, via Zoom for The Uses and Abuses of History during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The discussion will include award-winning historians and Great Teachers reflecting on the “usable past.”

The session will include the following participants:

  • Tracy Campbell, E. Vernon Smith and Eloise C. Smith Professor of American History (2010 Great Teacher Award winner);
  • Vanessa Holden, assistant professor of history; and
  • Amy Murrell Taylor, T. Marshall Hahn Jr. Professor of History (2016 Great Teacher Award winner).

To register for the session, click here.

This session is part of the “Great Teachers on Great Challenges” virtual speaker series which is co-sponsored by the UK Alumni Association and the Provost’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. The series will regularly conduct conversations with UK faculty who have won the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award, the oldest, continuously-given award for teachers at the University of Kentucky. With the goal of responding to the numerous questions pertaining to COVID-19 and its effects locally and globally, these sessions will unpack the insights and expertise of UK’s teacher-scholars for all audiences.

These sessions are free and available to the public. Additional sessions will continue to be added.

To learn more about the virtual series and to register for upcoming sessions, visit

The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit or call 800-269-2586.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.